Early market fee collection breaches curfew – MoBay mayor
Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis has instructed representatives of the St James Municipal Corporation (StJMC) not to collect fees from vendors at the Charles Gordon Market before the official opening time to prevent a violation of the Government’s restriction on social gatherings.
The mayor was responding to a report from the St James police that employees of the municipal corporation have been assessing vendors outside the market from as early as 4:45 a.m., breaching the Government’s all-island curfew order, which was put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Initially, the curfew hours ran from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. However, as at yesterday, the hours were adjusted for persons to be at home between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily until April 21.
“It would be sad for a 70-year-old higgler, who shouldn’t even be out, coming from Catadupa or Rose Hall to be prosecuted under the curfew,” said Davis, while addressing the recent monthly meeting of the StJMC at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre.
“We have persons leaving out from St Elizabeth, but they shouldn’t reach Montego Bay anyway. They shouldn’t be there overnight, because when the market is closed, the market is closed, and they would be definitely breaking the curfew,” the mayor added.
Deputy Superintendent Kevin Francis, who represented the St James police at the meeting, said that the Jamaica Constabulary Force is pushing ahead with its public education campaign.
“We have a concern where persons insist on selling their wares outside of the designated time, and along the roadway leading to and from the market,” he said.
“We’ve put in place some enforcement measures, including town-crier systems, and warning persons who continue to take their chances that next time there won’t be any more warnings.”